Ovechkin won't be in Caps' lineup vs. Flyers

Ovechkin won't be in Caps' lineup vs. Flyers
October 31, 2013, 1:00 pm

Alex Ovechkin has 10 of Washington's 30 goals this season, but will not play Friday because of an upper-body injury. (USA Today Images)

Back-to-back games can be a challenge to even the best teams in the NHL.

Yet for the Flyers, a team still struggling to find consistency, the task at hand is that much harder.
 
It might become a tad easier for coach Craig Berube’s club come Friday, though, after the Caps announced team captain and leading scorer Alex Ovechkin won't make the trip to Philly because of an upper-body injury.
 
Ovechkin’s 10 goals represent nearly 30 percent of the Caps’ scoring. That’s a huge loss for Washington and a huge gain for the Flyers, who only once this season have scored more than two goals in a game.
 
Now try convincing Berube he’s catching a huge break here.
 
“You know for sure he’s not playing?” Berube asked. “Doesn’t change anything.”
 
Good for your team?
 
“Is it? I hope so,” Berube replied. “They’re a good team with or without him. You gotta prepare the same and go out there with the same attitude and competing hard. Do the right things.”
 
Ovie has 15 points, which ranks seventh in the NHL. His 10 goals are second.
 
“Anytime you lose your best player, it obviously is going to hurt,” Scott Hartnell said. “You buckle down and play harder as a forward group. It’s not like they’re going to come in here and hand us two points. We’re a desperate hockey team. We have to play desperate and get two points.”
 
Jakub Voracek doesn’t see it that way.
 
“I don’t think it makes any difference,” Voracek said. “Most of the times, when a team’s best player doesn’t play, teams dig in and play even harder and it becomes hard to play against them. We don’t change our approach at all. We have to prepare the same way we would prepare even if he was in the lineup.”
 
Caps forward Troy Brouwer told CSNWashington, “He has what, 30 percent of our team’s goals? So anytime you miss a player like that it’s pretty detrimental.
 
“We’re going into a building that’s tough to go into and against a team that has a lot of offensive weapons. We’ve got to find ways to keep them off the scoreboard before we go on the offensive.”